Why Can’t the World Live in Peace?

Yesterday, I posted on President Obama’s speech in Cairo.  I made the comment that “the people of the world cannot live in peace together.”  I think Dietrich Bonhoeffer can give some fiber to that statement.

The Church is One Man.  All who are baptized are “one in Christ” (Gal. 3:28; Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 10:17).  The Church is “Man,” the “New Man.”  The Church is created as the new man through Christ’s death on the cross.  On the cross the enmity between Jew and Gentile was abolished, that enmity which rent the world in two, “that he might create in himself of the two one new man, so making peace” (Eph. 2:15).  The “new man” is one, not many.  Beyond confines of the Church, the new man, there is only the old humanity with all its divisions (The Cost of Discipleship, 241) (emphasis added).

There cannot be peace where there is no redemption and reconciliation.  That is only found in Jesus’ death on the cross.  In him “there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all” (Col. 3:11).

Christians don’t always practically live in peace with others — because we aren’t perfected yet!  But legally speaking before God, there is no division between him and his people.  Further, there is no division between Christians themselves because we are “all baptized into one body” (1 Cor. 12:13).  We are a spiritual family.  (A dysfunctional one, but a family nonetheless.)  For all who are outside of Christ however, as Bonhoeffer put it, there is only division.